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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 22 - May 12  > Koike on Constitution Day calls on gov’t to respect constitutional principles in its fight against COVID-19
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2020 April 22 - May 12 [POLITICS]

Koike on Constitution Day calls on gov’t to respect constitutional principles in its fight against COVID-19

May 3, 2020
On May 3 (the Constitution Memorial Day), Japan marked the 73rd anniversary of the enforcement of the postwar Constitution. This year’s anniversary took place in a difficult situation where the coronavirus crisis is endangering people’s lives and health and producing severe economic consequences.

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on the day issued a statement stating, “At the very moment when people are facing severe hardships, the need is for the government to implement policies which respect constitutional principles.”

Koike pointed out that in regard to government responsibilities in preventing the COVID-19 spread, what is most needed is to display an all-out commitment to support people’s livelihoods and corporate efforts to maintain jobs, including providing financial aid to those affected by the stay-at-home and business suspension requests. This is in line with realizing people’s rights guaranteed under the Constitution, such as the right to the pursuit of happiness and to be respected as individuals (Article 13), the right to live (Article 25), and the right to own property (Article 29), Koike said.

Koike criticized Prime Minister Abe for using the ongoing health emergency to achieve his goal of revising the pacifist Constitution. Citing PM Abe’s intent to introducing an “emergency provision” in the supreme law, Koike said the introduction of this provision will lead to the establishment of a political system which enables those in power to do what they want by suppressing objections and criticisms against the government’s handling of an emergency like the present outbreak of COVID-19.

Koike continued to say, “PM Abe on the one hand appeals to the general public for the need to unite, but at the same time, as if to fish in troubled waters, he proposes constitutional revision which the majority of the public have expressed opposition to. Such an outrageous act is totally unacceptable.”

Koike said that the JCP will join hands with the general public to protect people’s lives and livelihoods during the ongoing coronavirus crisis and added, “Seeking to defend Article 9 of the Constitution and champion peace, democracy, and basic human rights, the party will work even harder to further develop the cooperation and collaboration of opposition parties with a wider range of citizens and to realize policies utilizing constitutional principles.”

Past related article:
> LDP’s use of COVID-19 crisis for constitutional revision to introduce ‘emergency provision’ unforgivable [April 16, 2020]
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